We spent the evening at my parents' house for dinner after Mass and then I suddenly was reminded of a very odd thing we saw at a hippy store last night. We saw a $900 toilet. I realized that no doubt we were in a hippy store, as you would have to be high in order to consider making a purchase of a toilet that costs $900. While my family was neither high or wealthy while I was growing up, my dad made very interesting shopping habits. The two rules to shopping for my father are 1. If it's a great price, buy it in mass quantities and 2. If it's on sale, and you have purchased it in mass quantity, and hide if from my mother.
We used to make fun of his mother, "The Gus," because of her love of acetaminophen. My grandmother purchased Tylenol like it was crack on the black market. She had more Tylenol on her shelves than her beloved Kmart did. It was insane, but if it went on sale, she purchased more. So, we can clearly see where my father gets it from.
However, one day, my father came home with a toilet, and discreetly placed it in the garage- for months- and didn't tell my mother. Then, one day, very randomly, he began replacing a toilet. "Where did this toilet come from?" my mother wanted to know. Well, the garage, of course. He hid it from her for months, and I guess felt brave that day to share that he made this purchase. We joke about that toilet to this day, many years, and possibly, toilets, later.
Luckily, their finances are much better nowadays, and honestly, should mom hypothetically drop the newest iPod touch into a cup of hot coffee on accident in hopes of utilizing her daughter's neat trick to amplifying sound in an empty cup and ruining her iPod, Dad doesn't bat an eyelash at the notion that he will immediately be summoned to order a new one. (True, yet sad story.)
Of the things that I have seen in mass quantity in my parents home, and perhaps, need to discuss in therapy some day should I decide I need that in mass quantity- Coffee creamer, Q-Tips, Ibuprofen, hotel bottles of a specific Bath and Body Works Shampoo scent he fell in love with at some time and purchased a case from the hotel, Kleenex, lolly pops he swore he gave to his customers, yet I know differently, Pepsi (back in the day), cream cheese, and Smith Bros. cough drops, which he must have had some foresight into that since they one day went out of business and that was the best candy, I mean cough drop EVER made.
With the advent of the cost cutter clubs, Dad's shopping habits didn't appear as extreme, however, for a family of four, it was hard to justify the sheer volume of family packs of Jergens soap that we purchased. However, we were always clean, never had a dry throat or bagel, and if a porcelain throne should cause us any issues, we had a spare for that occasion as well.